Positive Quote For Today

"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty."— Maya Angelou

How to Win Friends

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This is me with some of the buddies I made during my days at Starehe Boys' Centre. Three of the buddies in the photo (Eric Kibet, Taita Towett & Collins Biwott) have evolved into good friends of mine over the years.

The other day, I was leafing through an old Reader's Digest magazine when I came across a brilliant article that said having friends is the secret to a long and happy life. Friends, the article said, help us cope with the difficulties of life. They also boost our immune system.

Because friends are that valuable, I thought it wise to write and share with you, my dear reader, three lessons I learnt on how to make friends from several sources including Dale Carnegie's evergreen How to Win Friends & Influence People. Only three lessons.

The first is remembering people's names because a person's moniker is the sweetest word to him. I can testify that is very true from a personal experience I had when I was fourth form at Starehe Boys' Centre. Well, I was playing soccer with my schoolmates when a popular, handsome chap of Indian descent named Michael Mahinda called out my name "Thuita." I felt so honoured to be known by a person of Mahinda's calibre. (By the way, Michael Mahinda was killed in a motorbike accident earlier on in this decade. May his soul rest in peace.)

So it is true that if you want to make friends, try to remember the names of people you'd like to win as buddies.

Some years back, I invented a trick of making a name stick in my memory when I first meet a person who is new to me. That's by having a short discussion about the person's name. For example, if someone tells me he is called Owen, I reply, "Oh, so you are Owen? You remind me of an England striker who was called Michael Owen." Such kind of chatter, as unnecessary as it might seem to be, has helped me to remember the names of people when they first introduce themselves to me.

The second lesson on how to win friends, which I learnt from the Dale Carnegie's book I have told you about, is complimenting people whenever they say or do something excellent. And that actually works because I know from personal experience how great it feels to be complimented for a job well done. Like my happiest moments these days is when I post a story on this lovely blog of mine and someone out there appreciates it.

Everybody wants to be admired and appreciated. Therein lies the third lesson on how to win friends: that is, make people feel important. So look for ways to make the folks you want to bag as friends feel important.

When I talk of making people feel important, I am reminded of a schoolmate in high school who once asked me my name. Upon telling him I am Thuita Maina, he blurted out, "Oh, you are the famous Thuita Maina!"

That schoolmate may not have known it but he did make me feel important. Such is the kind of way of making people feel admired and appreciated.

In a nutshell, if you want to win friends - remember people's names, compliment them for a job well done and look for ways to make them feel important. Adieu!

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story of mine on how to win friends, you might also enjoy another one I wrote on "Bidding a Friend Farewell." Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.


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Models of Generosity

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This is Mr. & Mrs. Moore, a wonderful couple whose foundation sponsored my education at Starehe Boys' Centre. More about them in the story below.

St. Paul authored thirteen books in the Bible. Known as epistles, the books are full of wonderful and life-nourishing words of wisdom. I have come to love and adore those epistles so much that I have began memorizing verses from them. Today, for instance, I have memorized the following lines from 1st Timothy 6:17-19:
Command the rich people of this world not to be arrogant nor put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way, they will lay up for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.[1]
Thank you so much St. Paul for those wonderful and life-nourishing words of wisdom. Now let me take it from there.

When I think of living examples of those lines I have quoted above, the first people who pop up in my mind are Mr. & Mrs. Moore - a wonderful couple who hail from the bountiful U.S. state of Indiana. I got to know and meet them during my high school years at Starehe Boys' Centre where they taught me in junior high school. Mr. Moore taught me History while Mrs. Moore taught me English.

Although I was never a star student in their classes, the Moores inspired me to learn more with their dedication and creativity. They went out of their way to give us files for arranging our papers and expanded our knowledge beyond what was required of us in the curriculum. Mr. Moore, for instance, had us know that Guglielmo Marconi was the inventor of the radio. And that 50% of the world's wealth is in the United States. (I am not sure if that's still the case given the recent rise of India, Brazil and China as world powers.) If my memory serves me well, I also recall hearing that Mr. Moore was a schoolmate of Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon.

That the Moores cared deeply about our education was revealed in the way they invited a senior staff member of Starehe called Mr. Kennedy Hongo to one of their classes to lecture us on the dangers and spread of HIV/AIDS. I enjoyed listening to Mr. Hongo; his lecture probably explains why I have refrained from engaging in pre-marital sex. And going by the HIV test I took last year, I am thankfully glad to report that I am negative in so far as having that deadly virus is concerned.

Not only did I appreciate the Moores for the dedication in teaching but also for their unending generosity. They used to lend me newspapers when I was in Form 2. The newspapers made me stay abreast of what was happening in Iraq during the Gulf War 2 that was engendered by the Bush administration following the infamous 9/11 attacks. And my education at Starehe, as I have pointed out in the caption of the photo above, was sponsored by the Moore Foundation. Actually, it's their son - Mr. Mark Moore - who sponsored me under the umbrella of the foundation.

We, the Moore Foundation fellows, were always treated to special dinners and trips. We feasted on sumptuous dishes at the school canteen on special occasions, went golfing at 5-star hotels and toured the Nairobi National Museum. A generous couple the Moores were.

I will never forget the Saturday afternoon in 2003 or 2004 when the Moores took us to an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi called Village Market where we played bowling, a game I never knew about before. That afternoon, I found bowling to be fun. Unhappily, I have never had another opportunity to play bowling since then.

By taking us to such plush places, the Moores must have been trying to show us that there was another side of life besides the poverty we were used to. But that's a lesson that never hit home in me in those days.

I have kept in touch with the Moores over the years, including at one time when I begged fees for my university education from them, a request they turned down. And I was a bit saddened when Mrs. Moore informed me that Mr. Moore passed away on 22nd May of 2016.

For some reasons, Mrs. Moore has tactfully refused to share with me the contacts of Mr. Mark Moore, her step-son who I have already told you sponsored my education at Starehe. Maybe she fears I might pester him with pleas for financial help. But I want to let her know, if she's reading this story of mine, that I have matured up; I no longer nag people for help and I nowadays don't dish out contacts of important people in my life to friends and strangers alike.

All told, the Moores were a truly generous couple, willing to share their wealth and knowledge with children of humble backgrounds. They were the kind of people St. Paul would describe to have taken hold of the life that is truly life. I thank God for having let them cross my life. And I have resolved that should I ever get a chance to visit the United States, the most successful nation in history and the land of my heroes, I will have to drop by their home in Indiana to catch up. So help me God.

[1] Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV). Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.


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Bible Quote

"Always be full of joy in the Lord; I say it again, rejoice! Let everyone see that you are unselfish and considerate in all you do... Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything; tell God your needs and don't forget to thank Him for His answers. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand."

~Phillipians 4:4-7 (TLB)

About the Author

Name: Thuita J. Maina
Nationality: Kenyan
Lives in: Kiserian, Rift Valley, Kenya
Mission: To inspire the world to godly living, one person at a time.

Just For Laughs

There was this drunkard named Azoge who loved drinking at Josiah's Bar. On being told a certain Hon. Nanga was flying to America to be conferred a law degree so that he could be admitted to the bar, Azoge replied, "Why fly all the way to America to be admitted to the bar while you can get into Josiah's Bar any time?"

The 7 Deadly Sins

  1. Pride
  2. Envy
  3. Gluttony
  4. Lust
  5. Anger
  6. Greed
  7. Sloth

Author's Note

I am learning to treat life as a journey, not a destination. So I am trying to enjoy each day as I anticipate to fulfill my dreams especially meeting my soulmate and traveling abroad. Tomorrow may never be mine.

Fun Facts

  1. The fear of having no cell-phone service, running out of battery, or losing sight of your phone is called Nomophobia, reportedly affecting 66% of people.
  2. A single Google search needs more computing power than it took to send Apollo 11 to the moon. The Apollo computer was less equipped than a modern toaster.
  3. Besides being some of the biggest names in the tech industry, HP, Apple, Google and Microsoft share another commonality. They all started in garages.
~Extracted from Codingforums.com

Health Tip

So many of us take for granted the wonderful construction of the human body and the workings of its various parts. Some of us even expect it to function efficiently with less than the minimum care and attention. Learn the much you can about your body and how the care of it can help to give you that greatest blessing of all - good health.

Wonders of the Modern World

  1. The Simplon Tunnel
  2. The Sky-scrapers of New York
  3. The Boulder Dam of Colorado
  4. The Panama Canal
  5. The Golden Gate Bridge
  6. The Taj Mahal at Agra in India
  7. The North Sea Oil Drilling Rigs

Great Example for Politicians

"My life in politics was a joy. I loved campaigns and I loved governing. I always tried to keep things moving in the right direction, to give more people a chance to live their dreams, to lift people's spirits, and to bring them together. That's the way I kept score."

~Bill Clinton

Scientific Marvels

  1. Space travel
  2. Heart surgery
  3. Fibre-optics communication
  4. Concorde
  5. Computers & Radios
  6. Anesthetics
  7. The atom bomb

My Supreme Desire

Although I'd like to be rich and famous, my supreme desire is to be radiant: to radiate health, cheerfulness, calm courage and goodwill. I wish to live without hate, guilt, worry, jealousy, cynicism and envy. I wish to be honest, natural, confident, clean in mind and body - ready to say "I do not know" if it be so and to treat all men with kindness - to meet any loss, failure, criticism and rejection unabashed and unafraid.

Greatest American Presidents

  1. Abraham Lincoln
  2. George Washington
  3. Thomas Jefferson
  4. Franklin Roosevelt
  5. Theodore Roosevelt
  6. Woodrow Wilson
  7. Andrew Jackson

Making Peace With the Past

"Dwell not on your past. Use it to illustrate a point, then leave it behind. Nothing really matters except what you do now in this instant of time. From this moment onwards you can be an entirely different person, filled with love and understanding, ready with an outstretched hand, uplifted and positive in every thought and deed."

~Eileen Caddy

Toughest Colleges to Get Into

  1. MIT
  2. Princeton
  3. Harvard
  4. Yale
  5. Stanford
  6. Brown
  7. Columbia

Why You Should Trust God

"Men and women who turn their lives over to God will find out that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities and pour out peace."

~Ezra Taft Benson

The 7 Greatest Scientists

  1. Albert Einstein
  2. Isaac Newton
  3. Galileo Galilei
  4. Nikola Tesla
  5. Aristotle
  6. Archimedes
  7. Charles Darwin

You Matter

"Always be yourself. Never try to hide who you are. The only shame is to have shame. Always stand up for what you believe in. Always question what other people tell you. Never regret the past; it's a waste of time. There's a reason for everything. Every mistake, every moment of weakness, every terrible thing that has happened to you, grow from it. The only way you can ever get the respect of others is when you show them that you respect yourself and most importantly, do your thing and never apologize for being you."


The Most Industrialized Nations

  1. The United States
  2. Japan
  3. Germany
  4. France
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Italy
  7. Canada

Keys to Success

"...in his effort to withstand temptation, to economize, to exercise thrift, to disregard the superficial for the real - the shadow for the substance; to be great yet small, in his effort to be patient in the laying of a firm foundation; to so grow in skill and knowledge that he shall place his services in demand by reason of his intrinsic and superior worth. This is the key that unlocks every door of opportunity, and all others fail."

~Booker T. Washington

The 7 Social Sins

  1. Politics without principle
  2. Wealth without work
  3. Pleasure without conscience
  4. Knowledge without character
  5. Commerce without morality
  6. Worship without sacrifice
  7. Science without humanity

Cherish What You Love

"Cherish your visions, cherish your ideals, cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts - for out of them will grow all heavenly environment, of these if you but remain true to them, your world will at last be built."~James Allen

The World's Largest Cities

  1. London in England
  2. New York in the United States
  3. Tokyo in Japan
  4. Berlin in Germany
  5. Chicago in the United States
  6. Shanghai in China
  7. Paris in France

Benefits of Optimism

"In terms of success, optimistic people out perform their pessimistic colleagues. Research shows that they are consistently promoted higher and make more money while working fewer hours than those who think pessimistically. Optimists also contribute more significantly to social progress. It is the optimists who start and run successful companies, who win elections and carry out reforms, and who make breakthroughs in the realms of science and technology."

~Pepe Minambo

The World's Greatest Lakes

  1. Caspian Sea in the Commonwealth of Independent States, C.I.S. (formerly U.S.S.R)
  2. Lake Superior in North America
  3. Victoria Nyanza in Central Africa
  4. Aral Sea in C.I.S.
  5. Lake Huron in North America
  6. Lake Michigan in North America

Demonstrating His Love

"Take your communication for instance - the way you address others. It ought to be with loving, gracious and edifying words. Never talk people down. Never use words that hurt and demean people. Communicate excellently with others without destroying their self-image or making them feel sorry for themselves. Talk to people in a way that they never forget the excellence of your words, the love and grace of Christ that you communicated. It's how God wants us to love."

~Dr. Chris Oyakhilome

World's Longest Rivers

  1. Missouri-Mississipi (U.S.)
  2. Amazon (Brazil)
  3. Nile (Egypt)
  4. Yangtse (China)
  5. Lena (Russia)
  6. Zaire (Central Africa)
  7. Niger (West Africa)